We have the likes of Cosmopolitan magazine circa 1960 to blame for modern womenâs fear of the âFâ word. They sold her the idea that to have a fulfilling life, she must have a âCâ word in her armoury. A Career.
So off to work she went â but who was to look after her children? Why, further down the food chain, in âTake A Breakâ magazine, women âBâ was being sold the idea that to have a fulfilling life she must have a job â so off to work she went. Looking after woman âAâs childrenâ¦how come she can be fulfilled by looking after Aâs little brats, but âAâ canât? Eh?
Because âAâ was in a higher class job, thatâs why. âAâ was collecting some Bankerâs dry cleaning, rushing out to get his sandwiches at lunchtime, and answering his phone for him.
Thatâs fulfilment folks. Itâs also a double dollop of taxation for the government. Which is just as well, because someone had to look after woman âBâs children whilst she was out at work, and she couldnât afford to pay much, so the government gave some of the lovely taxation money to woman âCâ to provide cheap child care. Itâs a whiz of a system, because it left the bankerâs wife with nothing to do all day except wander round the shops wondering whether to buy the Â£750 shoes or the Â£900 shoes.
Nobody ever mentioned the âFâ word.
Now woman âAâs Mother has got old and cantankerous, and somebody has got to pull her knickers up for her and make her a cup of tea, and woman âAâ canât do it âcos sheâs too busy collecting the Bankerâs dry cleaning and being fulfilled and everything, and woman âBâ canât do it âcos sheâs looking after woman âAâs children, and woman âCâs looking after woman âBâs children, so she canât either.
So poor old Mum gets looked after by women âPâ, whoâs only over from Poland for long enough to buy a house back home and really doesnât give a shit about woman âAâs Mother, but she does get minimum wages, so someone has to pay her. Guess who? Yes, itâs the government out of taxation on woman âAâ, âBâ and âCâ. And there isnât enough of that to go around, so weâve had a two year Dilnot Commission to work out how to do that without woman âAâ losing her inheritance that sheâd banked on from Mumâs house.
Cos âMum forced to sell house to pay for careâ really wasnât a good headline, and didnât endear woman âAâ, who is still voting, to the government. Theyâve come up with some corking suggestions, and all the interested parties are piling in with even more.
And nobody is mentioning the âFâ word.
First of all, Mum is not going âto be forced to sell her houseâ. No, no, no. Even though sheâs not living in it any more. So that gets rid of that headline. Not the problem, just the headline. No, Mum is going to be given a loan to pay for her care. A bit like a Student Loan, we can call it an âImprudent Loanâ if you like. Itâll be Woman âAâ who is going to pay it back, out of her inheritance, and she canât very well go on television and whine that âMumâs heartbroken about her houseâ now, can she? âCos Mumâs still got her house, and woman âAâ is still out looking after the Bankerâs dry cleaning, and everyone is fulfilled. Especially woman âPâ who is halfway to buying a house in GdaÅsk, even though she still doesnât understand a word of what Mum is saying to her.
This week, the British Medical Journal, house magazine of that venerable body of Hippocratic oath takers, has come up with an even corkier suggestion. âI knowâ, they said, or at least a venerable Professor of Philosophy said, one of those especially deep, deep thinkers. âI know, stop feeding Mum, in fact stop giving her any water either, thatâll save on the water rates, and in ten days or so, the problem will have gone awayâ. No really, that is the alternative that is being suggested to Mum having to take out a loan to pay for her care. Starve the Bitch. The philosophical solution. You know it makes sense. Youâll be fulfilled. Youâll keep your inheritance. You can all go on looking after someone elseâs husband, someone elseâs kids, and the government will get lots of taxation.
Mum would like to put forward a solution of her own. Since there is no one else around to translate for her, Iâll have to do it. Prepare yourself for a liberal use of the âFâ word.
âFor Fu*ckâs sakeâ, said Mum, âWhat about Familyâ (Sorry about the âFâ word, I know you havenât heard it for years, and itâs carefully kept out of all the learned solutions being put forward, but that is what Mum saidâ¦
âFamilyâ â there, she said it again.
Stay at home, look after your own kids, look after your own man, collect his dry cleaning, make him a sandwich at lunchtime, make Mum a cup of tea â if other women can be fulfilled doing it for you, so can you! All you are achieving with your drive for âfulfilmentâ is more taxation. In fact if you stop what you are doing and get back to the old Family way of doing things, the Bankerâs wife wonât have so much time to go shopping, and he might not need the bonus to pay for those shoes. Itâs win-win all the way.
Never mind Starve the Bitch, Starve the Beast.